ONE, THE (SUPERBIT): DVD
As one of the former Multiverse Investigators, Gabriel Yulaw (Jet Li) knows full well that
each of us has a parallel alter ego, or clone; what he also knows is that as he kills each
of his own alter egos in one of the dozens of parallel universes, he accumulates and
absorbs the power and strength of those he kills. After 123 universes and 123 deaths, he
is finally captured by his old colleague, Roedecker (Delroy Lindo) and his assistant
Funsch (Jason Statham). On the verge of being sent to a distant penal colony, with the aid
of his glamour-puss wife [the baddie version of Gabe’s wife] (Carla Gugino) Yulaw
makes a desperate final attempt to kill the last of his alter egos, the other Gabe (Jet
Li) and thus become The One – an all powerful entity in the universe.
Review by Louise Keller:
Although The One was released on DVD in July 2002 with a punchy package of special
features, this new release of Jet Li’s dual role with its great premise and whirlwind
of dazzling martial arts action, is now available with the added image and sound quality
of Superbit. Movies available in Superbit are encoded at as much as double the normal bit
rate, using space on the disc usually allocated to special features or multiple audio
An ideal title to highlight crisp digital sound and a sparkling crisp image, The One
enthralls in a blast of non-stop action Jet Li style. And what style he has! The notion of
good versus evil and the struggle for power and ultimate control is certainly not new, but
the interesting issue of coming face to face with another version of ourselves through
parallel universes, is beguiling indeed. The transportation through the multiverses is a
little like tripping through Being John Malkovich's portal but with Star-Trek finesse,
while multiverse agents police the streets, in a Men in Black kind of way.
But The One is not at all derivative: it is an original both in concept and execution. Set
in the present day, it feels as futuristic as Starship Troopers, yet the central character
is grounded by his goodness and love for his wife and family. Truly a feast for the
senses, the visuals are extravagant and the soundtrack is as exciting as it is relentless.
The acrobatics and martial arts stunts are simply awesome, and I guarantee your jaw will
drop and mouth remain open with eyes agog in the fantastic sequence when Li comes face to
face with himself. This climactic, keenly choreographed fight sequence (which we are told
took four weeks to shoot), is martial arts at its most sophisticated. Adept editing,
extraordinary use of stunt doubles and an interesting use of two distinct styles of
fighting, make this one of the most exciting confrontations imaginable.
The ideas never run dry and there is probably too much detail to absorb on first viewing.
The gymnastics with handcuffs appealed to my imagination, while the sequence in the
warehouse is as visual as a New Year's Eve fireworks display. The entire cast is
excellent, and Li's appeal in his dual roles - is undeniable. It’s thrilling escapism
plus with the added bonus of high quality sight and sound.
Published December 11, 2003
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BUY IT HERE
ONE, THE (SUPERBIT): DVD (MA)
CAST: Jet Li, Carla Gugino, Delroy Lindo, Jason Statham
DIRECTOR: James Wong
SCRIPT: Glen Morgan, James Wong
RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes
PRESENTATION: Superbit; Audio set up – English, English 5.1 digital; Subtitles – English, English captions, Dutch/Nederlands, Hindi
SPECIAL FEATURES: none
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: December 3, 2003 (Superbit)
RIVERSIDE SNEAK PEEK PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 4 consecutive Tuesdays - March 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015 - at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.